Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Busiest day for online shopping costs employers £5bn.

Today is predicted to the busiest online shopping day of the year, and could cost businesses up to £5 billion, according to reports.

Workers are likely to be tempted by limited time offers on Groupon and Vouchercodes, but the resulting loss in productivity could cost businesses dearly in the run up to Christmas.

The Centre for Retail Research predicts that UK shoppers will spend £17.7 million today, and while this will be good news for online retailers, it also means that staff are likely to spend the early hours of the day shopping from their desks.

Peter Mooney, head of employment law for business support specialist, ELAS, said: “Every year, more people are going online for Christmas presents, and even those who don’t will end up spending hours window shopping on the internet.

“But while in the past few years, we’ve seen that most workers sensibly do this in their lunch hours or after 5pm, the explosion in deals sites such as Groupon are causing people to do their shopping at the start of the day.”

On average, each worker will spend an average of 30 minutes each day shopping from their desks, and is not even restricted to people’s lunch hours.

Mr Mooney is now encouraging employers to remind employees of their responsibilities, and introduce an internet policy to outline what constitutes acceptable usage.

He added: “No boss wants to shoot a hole through goodwill and office morale by playing Scrooge in the office, but this time adds up and, in reality, costs money.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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